As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 2010--Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by James Joyce

Joyce was of course wildly controversial during his lifetime, with his work often banned as obscene.
Now, of course, we don't worry too much about the obscenity, but his obscurity frequently provokes heated discussion in classrooms and book groups. Compared to the challenges of Ulysses or the stylish impenetrability of Finnegan's Wake, this autobiographical novel, with its straightforward narrative and clear theme of artistic awakening, is almost tame. Still, the reader feels Joyce's inventive passion for language swirling the currents of the tale, and the result is an intensely felt rendering of his time and place, as well as his timeless drive to create.

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